For years now, mental health professionals have encouraged people who have experienced some kind of emotional trauma, like a divorce or death, to write down their feelings in a journal. However, new research indicates that this practice could actually do more harm than good.
The results of the study have been published in the Clinical Psychological Science journal. Psychologists at the University Of Arizona studied approximately 90 couples who had recently gotten divorced or separated. These individuals had undergone the separation approximately 3 months before the beginning of the study.
The psychologists assessed the emotional baseline of the individuals, and randomly assigned them to 3 separate groups. In the first group, members were asked to write down their feelings about their divorce, while in the 2nd group, the members were asked to write down their feelings in the form of a story, capturing the beginning, the middle and the end of the relationship. In the 3rd group, the members were asked to write a simple journal, detailing their routine daily activities without mentioning any emotions about their separation.
The psychologists were surprised to find that persons, who noted down their feelings about the separation in their journal, were more emotionally distraught several months after the study. Persons who tried to analyze the end of their marriage found it much more difficult to bounce back after the divorce. When these persons attempted to delve deep into the reasons for the end of the relationship, they seemed to have a much more difficult time adjusting to life after the end of the relationship.
This seems to suggest that writing down or expressing emotions in a written form can block some individuals from emotional recovery and adjustment after a divorce.

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